It was a night to remember for Portugal and their known hero Goncalo Ramos who scored the first hat-trick of the FIFA World Cup 2022 to help Portugal thrash Switzerland 6-1. In the game in which star man and captain Cristiano Ronaldo was on the bench, it was the young Benfica striker who stepped on the occasion to make his mark on the tournament. The win sees Portugal make the last eight of the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 16 years when they reached the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
No Ronaldo, No problem
Portugal had no regrets over dropping Cristiano Ronaldo as his replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in a superb 6-1 win over Switzerland in the World Cup last 16. The fallout of Ronaldo's reaction to his substitution in Portugal's previous game dominated the build-up to the knock-out clash and his demotion ended a run of 31 games he had started for his country at tournament finals.
His countrymen shook off any drama around his absence with one of the performances of the tournament so far as Portugal reached the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2006, where Spain's conquerors Morocco await.
Ramos, his replacement, was five-year-old when Ronaldo scored his first World Cup goal and needed only 17 minutes to open his own account with a thunderous effort that was past Yann Sommer before he could react. Portugal cemented their advantage before the interval when 39-year-old Pepe became the second-oldest scorer in World Cup history from a corner before Ramos ended the game as a contest with a poacher's finish at the near post.
Portugal cemented their advantage before the interval when 39-year-old Pepe became the second-oldest scorer in World Cup history from a corner before Ramos ended the game as a contest with a poacher's finish at the near post. The goals then kept on coming in the second half while the Swiss team had a consolation.
Who will reach Semis?
Portugal will now face Morocco in the quarterfinals on Saturday, kick-off at 8:30 PM IST. The winner of that game will play either England or France in the World Cup semifinals.